New Public Transit System in Georgia

Beginning July 1, anyone living in a 14 county area in southwest Georgia can hitch a ride on the area's first fully coordinated regional transportation system.

The service is said to be unmatched, but there are still some skeptics. Word of a new regional transportation system in southwest Georgia is causing some concern with seniors from Thomasville’s Schott Senior Center.

They worry their day-to-day transportation needs will be affected once the state takes back all but one of its buses.

"We'll just have to see what happens, but it is going to take a great affect on the senior
citizens as far as us taking them to the doctor and grocery store," says Phillis Nail, Manager of Scott Senior Center.

Nail says monthly field trips may also have to be sacrificed.

"I like it like it is, but if it is not going to stay that way, I wish that we could do some of the things like we used to," says Rose Miller.

But, southwest Georgia Regional Development Center’s Executive Director, Dan Bollinger, says they can put those worries to rest.

“That level of service will not decrease and probably will increase over the next
year, particularly for the aging clients," Dan says.

Bollinger says all residents in the southwest Georgia area can look forward to a new and expanded service beginning July 1 that will be just as good or better than they have had in the past.

"Hopefully it is going to work, but it is going to be a great transaction for all of us."

Transit systems already operating in the area will continue as usual. However, with the purchase of 39 new buses, the Development Center says the area will benefit as a whole.

It will be based on a demand-response system where passengers schedule pick up and drop-off times.

The system will be funded through state and federal dollars, totaling just over $5.5 million, so there will be no impact financially on local government. Passengers will pay a fee to ride the buses, that to ride the buses, that varying by county.